Free Articles, Free Web Content, Reprint Articles
Friday, May 25, 2018
Free Articles, Free Web Content, Reprint ArticlesRegisterAll CategoriesTop AuthorsSubmit Article (Article Submission)ContactSubscribe Free Articles, Free Web Content, Reprint Articles

Pheromones attain a highly specific role

In the insect world pheromones attain a highly specic role with ammunition pheromones. Whole populations respond uniformly and unconditionally to odor messages which are usually highly specific. Cons...

In the insect world pheromones attain a highly specic role with ammunition pheromones. Whole populations respond uniformly and unconditionally to odor messages which are usually highly specific. Considering the sharply defined requirements of insects and their short life span, it is essential that messages related to vitally important factors should be promptly acted upon.

In the life of mammals the importance of odor signals is not of the same magnitude. Usually there is no need for all individuals in a given population to participate equally strongly in all activities, particularly not in reproduction. It is not in the interests of the species that all mature individuals should breed unrestrictedly. As mentioned above, at a given time within a given population there will be a range of individuals which will react differently to the same signal. These differences may be induced by genetic make-up, social status, physiological state, previous experience — learning, and amongst other things by a varying degree of olfactory acuity. There will rarely be a uniform reaction towards any signals, including olfactory ones. Space marking with odors in mammals is a mechanism functioning to assure a certain order within the population for the smooth operation of social relationships. It is, however, only one of many factors and not solely responsible for the survival of an individual and population. In the event of the failure of odor marking, it is possible that other systems may take its place to preserve the important patterns of social behavior of the species according to

Despite recognition of the importance of the olfactory marking of social space by mammals and the frequent references to it, surprisingly few detailed studies have been carried out on the marking behavior of any species. Some of the more detailed work, unfortunately, has been done with laboratory animals whose natural spatial requirements and social structures are completely unknown. The Mongolian gerbil, Meriones unguiculatus Milne-Edwards, is an example.

Its marking behavior, involving the ventral gland, has been intensively studied by Thiessen and associates who paid particular attention to the effect of gonadal hormones on the intensity of secretion and its application (Thiessen et al. 1971). There is a need for more controlled studies of the role of odor in the space marking of free-living mammals. However, due to the inherent difficulties associated with studying natural populations over long periods the task will not always be simple.

In Australia prolonged studies of the wild rabbit, Oryctolagus cuniculus, living in natural and experimental conditions have provided an opportunity to determine the pattern of social organization of the species and its relationship to the occupied space. The brief picture of the rabbit’s territorial behavior given below is based on information reported in a series of earlier published papers (Myers and Poole 1959; Mykytowycz 1958, 1968; Myers et al. 1971).

The whole system of the rabbits’ social behavior is the result of the domination of one individual by another. Social relationships are constantly reinforced by aggressive displays or by avoidance. HenceFree Web Content, it is legitimate to refer to territoriality in its strict sense of meaning in connection with most of the forms of utilization of space by rabbits.

Source: Free Articles from


Alexander P is a blogger that studies pheromones.

Home Repair
Home Business
Self Help

Page loaded in 0.064 seconds